Daniel Ek, 37, founder of Spotify, one of the richest and most influential tech entrepreneurs in Europe, focuses on startups from the Old Continent. It will invest one billion euros over the next 10 years to grow the European ecosystem, financing highly technological and innovative projects. This was announced by the entrepreneur himself during Node by Slush, an online event on tech and startups.
Capital, ecosystem and super companies to compete with Silicon Valley
“We all know that one of the biggest challenges (for startups) is access to capital,” Ek explained. According to CB Insights data reported by the Financial Times, in the second quarter of 2020, European startups raised $ 7.3 billion in 843 rounds, while US startups almost quadrupled. “This is why I will allocate a billion euros of my personal resources to allow the ecosystem of manufacturers to realize a European Dream (European dream) in the next decade”.
The amount that Ek will invest in the next 10 years amounts to almost a third of its current assets, estimated at 3.6 billion dollars. The startups it will finance will be deeptech ones, with ambitious and innovative projects (which Ek defines as “moonshot”). For example in the biotechnology, machine learning or energy sectors.
“Europe needs more” super companies “for the ecosystem to develop and prosper. But more importantly, if we are to have any chance of addressing the infinitely complex problems our societies are facing right now, we need diverse stakeholders, companies, governments, institutions, nonprofits and investors of all kinds to work together. “.
Only in this way, according to the CEO of Spotify, can a European dream come true, which is centered on a better future for everyone and not for the single individual.
“Despite the ingredients we already have here in Europe, we are not yet realizing our full potential. We often think too short term. We tend to be reluctant to take the risks inherent in standing alone and embracing the unknown. Over and over again, we see our brilliant entrepreneurs handing their companies over to the highest bidder, even before their ideas are fully realized, even before they have time to evolve into something even more promising. It is frustrating to see European entrepreneurs giving up their fantastic visions so quickly. Too often we see our talents in a mass exodus to the US, ”says Ek. And he emphasizes the need for large companies in Europe too, “which can raise the bar and be inspirational”.